I can't really find questions about this style of photography I see a lot, anywhere on the Internet, but I think it's very beautiful and enchanting. It seems both vivid and faded at the same time (at least to me)... maybe some colors are faded and not others, or there's a cast or split toning? Also it's got this kind of sharp effect. And when there's more light, it (exposure? highlights? not sure... whites?) kind of "twinkles." Also in all lighting it's kind of "milky" (but not murky!)... the way the light and dark shades bleed together, with edges still distinct, looks kind of like ink seeping into milk, if that makes any sense.

Also there's a lot of precision in details, but it's blurry in many parts too. I think that might be related to in-camera stuff, though.

That said- Can someone show me how you'd do this just in post-processing? I bounce between different programs so general language is fine- whites, fill light, contrast, exposure that kind of thing.

One image is attached and there are more photos here. I'd appreciate if you could look at that full link and tell me your thoughts. I know some of them might be in different categories slightly of how they were edited, but I'd appreciate if you could break down what those categories are and how to emulate them – the more info the better, I'd really like to try this on my photos. Bonus points if you can do a before/after example in your answer if possible?

Also I know some might have a color cast, but if you could tell me where to find that filter/how to do on split toning or color adjustments to emulate it, would also be great.

Thank you so much. :)

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thanks for taking the time to put the effect you're looking for into words!
    – mattdm
    Jan 5, 2016 at 16:37
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    @mattdm - Agreed. This needs more upvotes! New user, asking question with details and examples! +1
    – dpollitt
    Jan 5, 2016 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


The blog post you linked to is one where the author describes another blog called The Cherry Blossom Girl, and in the FAQ there, author Alix answers several questions about how she makes her images. In particular, she says that for some of her photos, the only software she uses is Analogcolor, presumably meaning this Analogcolor by pentacom.

N.B.: She also says: Je pense aussi qu’il est beaucoup plus sympa de développer son propre style plutôt que de simplement imiter, or "I think it's much more fun to develop your own style than to simply imitate."

That said, try downloading and playing with the app -- it has a handful of options that are fun to play with, and a couple dozen preset effects to get you started. These took about 1 minute (original in upper left followed by 3 different edits):

originaledit 1edit 2enter image description here


One technique I used to employ were variations of the Orton effect. The outcome would be a much greater extreme of what you want, but it will provide the flexibility you want as well to make it much more subtle.


It basically involves duplicating the in focus layer in photoshop, guassian blurring the copy layer, setting the blend mode to multiply, and changing the opacity to your liking (or layer masking it for more finesse about which regions should be faded or in focus).

Here is a source that goes into greater detail about steps, reiterating what I said http://www.shutterevolve.com/create-orton-effect-photoshop/

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    Great answer! I never had heard of the Orton effect; I've always called it "glamour glow" as that is what some filter packages refer to it as.
    – dpollitt
    Jan 5, 2016 at 18:58
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    @dpollitt thanks, I've done a lot of research on image processing, so maybe I can contribute a lot more to this community.
    – CQM
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:33
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    What is the Orton Effect and how can I apply it to digital photographs?, if you want to link to something here instead of Wikipedia.
    – mattdm
    Jan 5, 2016 at 20:06

Looking through the photos, I see a few things:

  • Shallow depth of field (large aperture used when taking the photo)
  • Crushed blacks (black point is raised)
  • Slight overexposure (could be done in post by increasing the exposure or lowering the white point, or could be done in camera by making the aperture larger or the shutter speed slower)

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